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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

City Manager in Largo, FL fired for being trans

UPDATE: The National Sexuality Resource Center has put up our 'Stand with Stanton' petition, calling on the City Commission in Largo, FL to reverse its un-American and bigoted decision to oust long-time city manager Steve Stanton. Please take action, and spread the word to your friends!

I was a little surprised when Steve Stanton came out as transgendered and then didn't take much heat for it last week. Well, it turns out I was right in my suspicions. The City Commission voted 5-2 last night to fire Stanton for being a 'distraction.'

"It's just painful to know seven days ago I was a good guy and now ... I have no integrity," Stanton told the commission. "My challenge here has always been that someday I was going to leave this organization. So I am going to do it with a smile on my face."

I'm appalled at this blatant act of workplace discrimination. NSRC will have more to say in a few hours about how YOU can take action on this issue. We're hoping that we can see the good in the bad, and that Stanton can become a transgendered champion.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Can Date Rape Sell Beer?

Bonnie Zylbergold is a staff writer for American Sexuality Magazine. She holds her M.A. in Human Sexuality from San Francisco State University and will be posting weekly on the American Sexuality Blog.

In its latest ad campaign, American beer company Miller Lite references the popular date rape drug GHB. Thus far, I have had the "pleasure" of catching two separate commercials belonging to this new campaign. I was not a fan of either, but one in particular managed to rub me the wrong way, (no easy feat considering I was half asleep when it came on.)

The commercial takes place in what can only be described as a frat party. Two women are shown standing around holding drinks, or more appropriately, beer. All of a sudden, a man comes running up to them, and in slow motion, leaps towards one of the woman in attempt to grab the beer out of her hand. At this point the label is clearly shown, and the audience becomes aware that she is holding, and about to drink, a "light" beer. The man in question screams out something to the affect of, "No! Don't drink that. It has GHT in it."

Here is where I woke up: this was an obvious and direct reference to GHB, a drug notorious for its use in date rape and other horrible situations where victims are drugged. The man continues, explaining that Miller Lite has no GHT in it, and promptly switches her "light" beer with a Miller "lite". That's pretty much the gist of it.

I suppose many in the industry would find this play on words clever. I, however, find it scary and disconcerting. When did date rape become so blase that corporate America is using it to sell beer? One would have to assume that the people behind this campaign found the issue of date rape either sexy or humorous enough to believe that it could be applied in such a circumstance. After all, sex and humor are the two main criteria (in advertising) for selling everything from ice cream to cigarettes. I guess I just never found rape or drugging people to be sexy. Or funny.


Headlines sometimes make me LOL

My favorite of the last few weeks:
Monologues bring vaginas, domestic abuse conversation to center stage

I'm so glad that vaginas are center-stage. And that the monologues brought them there. LOL.


New Form of Sex Ed Identified

Terry Stein is the managing editor for Social Policy and Sexuality Research: A Journal of the NSRC. He will be posting occasionally on the American Sexuality blog with updates from the journal.

Seems like researchers Deborah Schooler, Janna L. Kim, Lynn Sorsoli have discovered a new way to educate adolescents about sex and self esteem. Their study, "Setting Rules or Sitting Down: Parental Mediation of Television Consumption and Adolescent Self-Esteem, Body Image, and Sexuality," published in the latest issue of NSRC's online Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, concluded that:

"Adolescents whose parents were more involved in their television viewing reported greater self-esteem and less sexual experience. Among girls, parental television involvement was also associated with greater body satisfaction. Adolescents with parental television restrictions also reported less sexual experience. Findings suggest that parental television involvement
may influence self-esteem and body image, in part by increasing parent-child closeness."

Maybe turning on and watching television with them can be a more effective way to help young people acquire healthy attitudes about their bodies and sexuality than restrictive approaches like abstinence-only sex education classes. Access the full article here.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Deb Tolman's APA Report confirms everyone's opinion: Media is bad for girls

An American Physiological Association report on the sexualization of girls, which was partially written by our very own Deb Tolman, appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle last week and has since made the rounds in the media.

The Beacon Journal, Ms. Magazine, and the Washington Times all jumped into the fray. It was interesting to see the conservative publications like the Washington Times take the report as further justification for waging a culture war against over-sex liberals and feminist groups saw the report as confirmation of the deeply sexist media that our young girls are exposed to day in and out. To each their own, I suppose.


Congress to reevaluate 'Don't ask, Don't tell'

It looks as if Congress is finally coming to its senses on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy of Clinton legacy. We'll be watching to see how Congress comes down on this one. As long as Rep. Ackerman repeats this quote a couple more times, the debate will be, at the very least, entertaining.
Rep. Gary Ackerman (D) New York: "For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are against terrorists. If the terrorists ever got a hold of this information, they'd get a platoon of lesbians to chase us out of Baghdad."


Friday, February 23, 2007

Censoring the wandering scrotum

A guest blog from National Sexuality Resource Center Director Gil Herdt Phd.

In the time of the ancient Greeks—with their myth of a uterus wandering through a woman’s body, strangling her as it reached the chest—to the Roman physician Galen—who believed that hysteria, most notably of virgins, nuns and widows, was caused by sexual privation—and to the Victorians, who widely ascribed all manner of modern “female” disorders to hysteria—the uterus incited panic.

Today some librarians in the United States, it seems, fear a similar property in the ordinary, everyday variety of the scrotum and do not want children to come in contact with this word. The anatomical feature of the male body in mammals that looks like a sack and houses the testes, AKA balls, AKA the family jewels, has long been the object of jokes and puns and even ridicule. But as the front-page story in the Sunday New York Times (February 18, 2007) reveals, the scrotum is now an object of vile.

The Times article reports:

“…there it is on the first page of The Higher Power of Lucky, by Susan Patron, this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children’s literature. The book’s heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.

‘“Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much, the book continues. “It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”

Why does this word pose such a moral panic? The Higher Power of Lucky gives adults get the opportunity to respond to Janie and Jimmy’s question, “What’s a scrotum?” with one of their first lessons in sexual anatomy. “The scrotum is that little sack that holds the marbles that makes a boy a boy,” they said in my day. ‘That’s what can help to make babies.” That sort of thing. It becomes the first chance to help a child become sexually literate.

Conversely, censoring “scrotum” amounts to giving children an abject lesson in fear, shame, and silence. Makes them dread a word, shame their anatomy, and treat the scrotum like a wandering uterus—the cause of bad things. All the opportunities like this pile up in childhood, either to open a conversation with young people about their sexual anatomy and the great joy of human sexual relationships and pleasure, or to make them fearful and suspicious and snicker at a word that imagines sexuality is evil. Isn’t that how self-fulfilling prophecy begins?

Who are the people who want to prevent The Higher Power of Lucky from getting into the hands of children? Don’t they have better things to do than conjure up new myths that contribute to sexual illiteracy? They are the ones who feel that the word “scrotum” does not belong in a children’s book—or possibly in any book. Already banned in some libraries in the South, the West, and Northwest, the book is now assured the immortal status of a sort of children’s Catcher in the Rye—banned when I was a boy—only this is 2007, not 1960! What is going on? Didn’t we get beyond this sort of censorship after we left the bad old days of the Cold War, when to name a thing (communist) was to incite a panic? And names and things (communists and homosexuals) became interchangeable imaginals? Where is James Bond when we need him? Didn’t he have a wandering scrotum?

The NYT article suggests that the author of the book, herself a librarian in Los Angeles, wanted to help prepare young people for the task of being grown up. Quite right. She noted that learning about language and body parts, was “very important to her.” “The word is just so delicious,” Ms. Patron said. “The sound of the word to Lucky is so evocative. It’s one of those words that’s so interesting because of the sound of the word.”

Who are the overworked and offended librarians? One of them is, as the Times reports, a Ms. Nilsson, librarian at the Sunnyside Elementary School in Durango, Colo., who is reported to have said that she had heard from dozens of librarians who agreed with her banning of the book. “I don’t want to start an issue about censorship,” she said. “But you won’t find men’s genitalia in quality literature.”

Some of the same people who criticize The Higher Power of Lucky probably also objected to the Harry Potter books because they supposedly endorsed witchcraft and Satanism. Doubtful. But they did teach a whole new generation the meaning of words such as friendship, loyalty and truth.

Let’s not recreate the dreadful old days of the censoring Victorians, who disdained women’s sexuality, and women, and their uterus, and sexuality in general. Among the results of that Age of Sexual Illiteracy was the treatment of masturbation as a real epidemic that led to the medical abuse of children by doctors and teachers and parents in ways that inflicted lifelong harm. Victorian women believed to suffer from the wandering uterus syndrome, AKA hysteria, was to be incarcerated and damaged for life, for reasons that amounted to little more than misogyny and the inhumane treatment of people.

I don’t know if those outraged over The Higher Power of Lucky mean well, but they are doing harm to America’s young people by inflicting further ignorance and sexual illiteracy. We have to help this country get beyond this obsession with “Sex” and think about sexuality as part of the whole course of human life in much more humane and loving terms. When you cause a word to have more power than it deserves, it comes back to haunt you, or, in this case, to bite you. And who wants a wandering scrotum in their lives?


Sex change in Largo, FL making waves

Over at 'Out in Left Field,' a self-described Parenting and Politics blog, Steve/Susan Stanton's getting the royal treatment.

I do think it's a shame that Stanton didn't get this worked out before bringing children into the world.

Stanton has a 13 year-old son. Puberty is hard enough without dealing with dad in a skirt. The Trib reports father and son haven't discussed it yet. Really? (S)he has undergone extensive psychological testing, hormone therapy and painful electrolysis for years. Perhaps there were not enough commercial breaks where a quick family meeting could have been penciled in?

I'm all for equal rights. However, when parents put their own needs ahead of their kids, trouble usually follows.
What do you think about this post? Do you think Stanton is at fault here?


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hardaway fiasco -- ESPN commentary

Just found this video from ESPN on the Hardaway fiasco. I think its pretty well done for a TV station that profits off of gender steretypes as a matter of course. Also, it's a good barometer for how this is playing in middle America. What do you think of the clip?


New Jersey to recognize civil unions, not marriage

It looks as if New Jersey will not go the route of Massachusetts in recognizing same sex marriage, although the civil union route will remain open.

New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner issued a formal opinion letter on February 16 stating his office's view that same-sex marriages from Massachusetts would be recognized in New Jersey as civil unions, not marriages - but would carry all the rights and benefits available to married couples under state law.

Gay marriage advocates are ambivalent about the news.
David Buckel, director of Lambda Legal's Marriage Project who litigated Lewis vs. Harris, has stated:

"This is a good news, bad news decision: same-sex couples should feel a lot of security knowing that their relationship's legal status is protected-the bad news is that the attorney general is not recognizing a marriage as a marriage," he said.

The ability for same-sex couples to receive equality under the law is a big step, although only one step along the road to real marriage equality. We gotta keep up the fight!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

City manager in Largo, FL to have sex change

The St. Petersburg Times has the scoop on the city manager of Largo, FL, Steve Stanton, who has decided to have a sex change to become a woman. The mayor, and boss, is standing by Stanton's decision. But that's not preventing the St. Petersburg Times from writing, in so many words, that he might want to be a woman, but he's no flamer!
Around Largo, Stanton is known for his forceful management style, a willingness to take on controversy and a zest for participating in masculine activities. (emphasis mine)

In recent years, for example, he has donned a bulletproof vest to go along on a police raid of a nightclub and broke his nose participating in SWAT training. Within the last week, he rappelled inside the dome at Tropicana Field during a fire department training exercise and dug up a median near a fire station as part of a public works project.
The 'zest' makes me blush. Shouldn't the qualification for city manager be how well you do the job? Not whether you broke your nose in SWAT training? I wonder if publicizing these hyper-masculine stories was part of his/her press strategy for staying in office. Hillsborough county did go for Bush in 2004, 53-46.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fascinating interview of Animal House Screenwriter Chris Miller

The American Sexuality magazine just published an excellent, and extremely frank, interview with Chris Miller, the guy who brought us Animal House.


Haggard's co-workers knew of his double life

Watching Haggard's former Church react to his revelations that he had a long-term meth-laced relationship with a homosexual prostitute continues to be extremely painful. Now, Church staff are being accused of having known about Haggard's cover-up, and they're being disciplined for it. Does anyone know if this kind of witch hunt against the law?
"Numerous individuals [reported] to us firsthand knowledge of everything from sordid conversation to overt suggestions to improper activities to improper relationships. These findings established a pattern of behavior that culminated in the final relationship in which Ted was, as a matter of grace, caught," [Pastor Larry Stockstill] said.

Stockstill said overseers also found a few staff members struggling with "unrelated sin issues." After the service, New Life Associate Pastor Rob Brendle said the employees have been disciplined but not fired. He would not discuss their transgressions but said they were not of the "same magnitude or nature" of Haggard's.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Locker room blues

So Tim Hardaway has come out as a flaming homophobe. Woohoo. Another (straight) man afraid of dropped soap. Another (straight) man who thinks all the gay and down low guys are out to sneak a peak at his wiener – and not just any wiener, but that of the inventor of the crossover dribble.

I also felt disappointment to see someone so proudly embrace their hate. And see that queers remain one of the few social groups left in the US - Muslims and immigrants also come to mind – who it is ok to hate.

And then I got angry. I mean grow up. Is it such a big deal to be on a team – or work or go to school – someone who is openly gay? And it is the openly gay that is important here, for no doubt Hardaway has played – and showered – and interacted with any number of gay men without ever knowing they were gay.

Seems to me the bottom line in this that Tim Hardaway does not want to be checked out – or desired – or objectified - by (gay) men. No doubt Hardaway has never looked at a woman the way he fears the gay men look at him. Right.

The fact is humans are social creatures. We interact with all kinds of people, some quite like us, others quite different. We regularly get unsolicited - and sometimes – unwanted looks. Walking down the street. At the park and the beach, nearly as exposed as Hardaway in that dangerous locker room.


Chinese activists stage first public protest for gay rights

This week, Chinese gay rights activists -- yes, you heard that right -- held a twenty minute protest where they handed out flyers with red carnations during lunch in the business district of Beijing. An excerpt from the flyers:
Love has no boundaries; it is nothing to do with gender. We are homosexuals. We also want a life together with our loved one's. Please support all kinds of partnerships and all kinds of love. Please support same-sex marriage.
Read the full story in The Advocate here.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

NARAL Pro-Choice America sticking it to Wal-Mart

This morning, NARAL Pro-Choice America sent an email to list members an OUTRAGEOUS Plan B pharmacy refusal that took place in Springfield, OH. Tashina Byrd and her husband, after their condom broke, went to a local Wal-Mart to get Plan B over the counter. The Wal-Mart pharmacist laughed in her face and told her, "We have it on hand, but there's no one here who can dispense it." You can take action here.

The scoop from Tashina:
In the end, I was lucky. I found another pharmacy that stocked Plan B® and was willing to sell it to me. But what would happen to a woman who lives in a rural area - where Wal-Mart is often the only pharmacy - where the nearest drugstore could be 60 miles away or more? What if the second pharmacy refused, too?

Access to emergency contraception shouldn't require multiple pharmacy visits. To ensure other women don't have an experience similar to mine, join me in urging Wal-Mart to change its policy today!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day for our wounded veterans

Today, there has been an awful lot of discussion floating around about this photo from the wedding of Iraq veteran Ty Ziegel and Renee Kline. It won a first prize in the portraits category in the 2007 World Press photo awards. I first heard of it through a friend, who directed it to a discussion of the photo taking place at the photo blog BagNewsNotes. You can read the commentary here.

For many of us, Valentine's Day is a time to enjoy the dearest person in our lives. We hope for something picturesque, a romantic dinner by candlelight, a new set of lingerie to try on, and some good ol' fashion lovin'. We are trained to expect something perfect.

However, life and love aren't perfect. Easy, happy love is for the silver screen; real-life relationships are much more complex. This photo, whatever you think about the Iraq War, is an apt reminder of the imperfect and more deeply authentic love of which we are capable.

Enough of my rambling. What do you think of the photo?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An international digest

Two stories involving sexuality abroad caught my attention today.

The first, comes from Portugal, where the conservative Catholic country voted to legalize abortion in the first ten weeks. Now, due to low turnout, the pro-choice majority Parliament will have to vote on the referendum's results. Before this landmark vote, abortion was only legal when it threatened the life of the mother, the fetus was malformed, or in cases of rape. For each of those cases, however, the procedure could only be performed in the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy.

The second story hails from Kenya, where a local evangelical church held a weeklong "Sex Revolution Conference." An excerpt...

The conference, which concluded on Sunday, emphasized that for too long Christians and the Church have been silent on sexuality, indirectly contributing to problems such as AIDS, teenage pregnancies, rape, and divorce.

“We can’t continue pretending that these are not issues. We have Christian couples going to the secular world to seek help on how to improve their sex lives. People are suffering in silence,” said Muriithi. (Emphasis mine)

We welcome the Church's interest in talking to their congregations frankly about sex and cutting through the silence. Dialogue is ALWAYS better than silence when it comes to sexual health.


Gay and out in professional sports

With the story of former NBA center John Amaechi coming out in his autobiography, which is set to be released tomorrow, making its rounds in the media, it's important to remember that Amaechi joins a few other courageous athletes who have been similarly candid about their sexuality.

One such athlete is Esera Tuaolo, a former NFL lineman who came out in 2002, shocking the professional sports world. Now, just a few years later, Tualo is running a diversity seminar for 300 incoming NFL rookies.

"Having the NFL include me in the rookie diversity training is huge," said Tuaolo, who lives in the Twin Cities with partner Mitchell Wherley and their two children. "We're taking baby steps forward, but we're still far from getting the respect we need.

I was struck by Tuaola's desire for respect, rather than tolerance.

"I don't like the word tolerance," Mitchell said. "Are you supposed to tolerate me because I'm black, or are people supposed to treat me with respect because I'm a human being? ... I try to adhere to what the Bible says, try to treat everybody with respect and compassion and humanity, and hope everybody is happy."

For those athletes in the world of ultra-masculine professional sports struggling to tell the world who they really are, these two courageous men set a fine example.


Monday, February 12, 2007

10 ways to get a last minute date on Valentines' Day

Check out this hilarious top ten from American Sexuality Magazine to save yourself from Valentine's Day loneliness and get that last minute date.

10. Head to your nearest truck stop.

9. Try playing for the other team.

8. Call all your rejects and stalkers just to “check in.”

7. Make a date with yourself.

6. Borrow a friend’s dog and go to the nearest park.

5. If that doesn’t work find a distressed dog owner and offer them your extra poop bag.

4. Two words for you: Craigs List. Or is that one word?

3. Set your Facebook status to “horny” if you’re a girl and “emotionally available” if you’re a guy.

2. Plan an impromptu white elephant party. Get a box, cut a hole in the box…you know the rest.

1. Hire one.

Now that you've read this top ten, tell us what we're missing. Add other ways to get last minute dates in the comments.


Religious leaders call for commonsense sex-ed

The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing released an “Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Adolescent Sexuality” today. The letter focuses on developing an interfaith response exposing the dangers of abstinence-only sex education. An excerpt from the letter:
We call for faith communities to move beyond silence about sexuality or a fear and shamebased ethic that is only based on rules and prohibited acts. Young people pay too high a price when those in religious communities ignore their responsibility to help them understand, affirm and embrace their sexuality.
The arguments for accurate sex-education are numerous and convincing. But that hasn't stopped right-wing religious groups, and their enablers in government, from winning the day. These fundamentalist groups push these ineffective and dangerous abstinence-only programs because, they say, of their 'strong moral values.' As if it were moral to not provide teenagers with the information they need to protect themselves from unintended pregnancy and STDs.

The Religious Institute is trying to change the conversation, and show that providing accurate sex-ed to adolescents is THE moral position, while supporting abstinence-only programs is dangerous for our young people. It's refreshing - and long overdue - to hear from a faith organization about the best ways to address teen pregnancy and STD prevention.

For those of you who want to read more about the Religious Institute, their director, Rev. Debra Haffner, maintains an excellent blog here.


Friday, February 09, 2007

I love web 2.0

A little off topic, but hey it's Friday. Check out this fascinating presentation by an Assistant Professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. Love it!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Now that Haggard's cured, he's 'completely heterosexual'

This Haggard controversy was painful from the beginning, and it keeps getting worse. From the Gay and Lesbian Task Force..

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responds to the Rev. Ted Haggard's 'completely heterosexual' statement.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 — The Rev. Ted Haggard, the disgraced former head of the National Evangelical Association and leader of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, today broke his silence from “rehabilitation” and said that “Jesus is putting me back together again” and that he was “sorry for the things I’ve done.” He is also convinced he is “completely heterosexual,” according to the Rev. Tim Ralph, one of the ministers who oversaw three weeks of “intensive counseling” with Haggard.

“Haggard should be seeking forgiveness for the way he used the Bible to bash gay people, the way he warped and damaged young people in his ‘Jesus Camps,’ the way he shamelessly mixed religion and politics for personal and partisan gain, and for defaming Mike Jones,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “Instead, he’s doing what all these preachers do when they get caught with their pants down — they make themselves the victims of a personal failing.”

“It’s hard for me to believe that he’s ‘recovered’ in three weeks when he’d been having oral sex with me for over three years,” said Mike Jones, the man who stepped forward to expose Haggard’s hypocrisy in being a vehement supporter of a Colorado constitutional amendment prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

90% of women think Plan B is effective and safe

Good news on Plan B. 90% of women think it's safe and effective, CNN says. Ok, now we need to make it as accessible as cough medicine for women 18 and older.


Victory: TV show agrees to fix their Plan B mistake

On Tuesday, we linked readers to an action over at ThinkProgress demanding that the CW network correct erroneous references to the Morning-After-Pill in Veronica Mars, one of the most popular shows amongst 18-24 year-olds this year. The blurb for the upcoming episode used to read:
Veronica (Kristen Bell) is hired by Bonnie (guest star Carlee Avers, "Commander in Chief"), a promiscuous classmate, to find out who secretly slipped her the morning after pill, causing her to have a miscarriage.
One small problem. The Morning-After-Pill doesn't cause miscarriages and is NOT an abortion pill. It is only effective in preventing unintended pregnancies if taken within 72 hours after sex. Right-wing folks would call the morning after pill an abortion pill to rile up their base -- so in effect, the CW network was handing out extremist propaganda.

So, after receiving emails and complaints from readers like you, the network reneged and changed all references to the Morning-After-Pill to RU-486, which actually is an abortion pill.

A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Guiliani already taking heat from anti-choice, anti-gay groups

When you start a campaign for the Republican Presidential Nomination, you don't want articles to have headlines like: "[He's] 'not going to take your guns away and open an abortion clinic'"

But that's what Rudy Guliani is already dealing with on the Christian Broadcasting Network's news site. Tony Perkins, President of the influential Family Research Council, has also jumped into the fray.

"[M]ost pro-family Americans do not yet realize how far outside of the mainstream of conservative thought that Mayor Giuliani social views really are. Once people focus on this election and the candidates Giuliani's lead will diminish. If by some chance Giuliani were to gain the Republican nomination it would set up a very similar scenario that we had last November. A unenthusiastic Republican base which will suppress turnout and set up a Democratic victory."

Hotline has the scoop on Rudy.

He's pro-choice and pro-gay rights. So is a good chunk of the GOP's donor base, who fret mainly about taxes and government regulation...

Rudy Giulianiwill never get the endorsement of Tony Perkins, or James Dobson, or Richard Land, or Rod Parsley. Therefore, he won't have to pander to them, and he can focus his time and energy on finding Republicans who can vote for him.

It's too bad that these 'pro-family' groups are trying to squash the only candidate for the Republican nomination with good credentials on a woman's right to an abortion and gay rights.


NARAL Pro-Choice America has a new campaign up asking Congress to fix Bush's anti-family planning budget. From the webpage:

President Bush has inadequately funded our nation’s family-planning program, which provides approximately five million young and low-income women and men with basic health care every year.

At the same time, he proposes increased funding for “abstinence-only” programs, which are not as effective as regular sex education and may result in riskier behavior by teenagers.


Fossilized couple found embracing

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered proof that love existed 5,000-6,000 years ago. It's now only a matter of time before they discover that sex also existed back then, too.

[The dig leader] said she believed the two, almost certainly a man and a woman although that needs to be confirmed, died young because their teeth were mostly intact and not worn down.

Courtesy of Reuters

Ahh, we might even find that it was two men or two women! Egads, what then!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Teen TV show spreading lies about the Morning-After Pill

ThinkProgress has the scoop on an upcoming episode of Veronica Mars - a very popular teen television show -- that is distorting the truth about Plan B or the Morning-After Pill. This kind of distortion puts women's lives at risk.
Tonight, the CW network will air an episode of Veronica Mars that is based on misleading right-wing claims about contraception. The show is about a young woman named Veronica Mars, who is both a college student and a part-time private investigator. This week, Veronica is hired by Bonnie, “a promiscuous classmate, to find out who secretly slipped her the morning after pill, causing her to have a miscarriage“:

The basis for tonight’s Veronica Mars episode is more than just an innocent factual error. It dangerously confuses the facts on women’s health and furthers incorrect right-wing claims.

The morning-after pill — also known as Plan B — is not an abortion drug. It is a form of emergency contraception that when “taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, the two-pill series can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent.” It cannot cause a miscarriage. Plan B works only when taken before a woman becomes pregnant.

Join the chorus of voices on this issue and E-mail Paul Hewitt, CW’s Director of Publicity, and tell him that CW should correct its information on emergency contraception.


Anderson Cooper? GAY?!?

There's a debate raging on this very topic over at Anderson's Wikipedia entry. Is Anderson's sexuality part of the public record? Does it belong in a Wikipedia entry, confirmed or unconfirmed?